Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Out of the danger zone, into the...

If I were David Cameron, I’d be careful about saying that Britain was “out of the danger zone”. It suggests that “Labour’s debt crisis” has now been averted, which rather implies that large, rapid spending cuts are now simply a matter of choice. The popularity of these cuts depends in part on maintaining an air of crisis.

What’s more, if Cameron and Osborne have taken us “out of the danger zone”, then any future economic difficulties would be an entirely new danger zone that they’d have taken us into.

4 comments:

Liam Murray said...

*Tortured metaphor alert*

"If a ship has been so poorly piloted that it's found itself deep, deep in dangerous waters AND in the middle of a storm then the first thing is to weather that current storm. Having done so you could be said to have 'left the danger zone' in that you haven't went down. You remain however in a very precarious place and require continued course correction before you could be said to be safe."

Sorry, I did warn you.

More seriously you could argue that emergence from that 'danger zone' (in so much as it's about sovereign debt concerns, market confidence etc.) is a direct consequence of those planned and much trailed deep cuts. We're no longer in trouble because people have confidence in our ability to reduce the deficit - that confidence now needs to be validated.

Of course, were I less kind Tom I could suggest that your reasoning that having secured that confidence you don't then actually have to *DO* anything to merit it kind of explains why we're in this mess in the first place but I wouldn't do that :-)

danivon said...

Liam - of course, it could be that they were in part creating the climate of panic in April-May of this year by screaming GREECE! GREECE! and telling us that the government's finances were 'worse than we thought' despite the actual deficit being about £15bn lower than projected.

(or to use your metaphor, if they hadn't been running up and down the ship shouting about icebergs that weren't there)

Tom Freeman said...

Well the metaphor's maybe just undergoing some 'robsut interrogation techniques'... but the position's coherent.

But it may be a bit more nuance than will come across loud and clear.

Also, if they're distinguishing the (debatable) short-term risk of a gilt market crisis from the ongoing problem of getting the deficit down, it becomes less clear that the difference between Labour and Tory multi-year plans is that critical as applies to the latter.

Liam Murray said...

OK, I'm enjoying this now....

So the Tories went over the top spinning the idea of this huge iceberg on the horizon when it turns out to be reasonably navigable surface ice. Course correction is probably still required before it gets too dense though but Ed M, Ed B & co. think we can just turn our patio heaters on it and it'll melt away (Ahem, that's 'growth' in case I've lost you....)

Time for bed I think....